I was a bit worried that for the past few days I was in Coron town, the weather was just terrible. A typhoon was brewing north of the Philippines, heavy rains in the Calamianes, where Coron is located and a flight from Cebu was even cancelled due to the incessant downpour. Even the tours around the islands were affected with cancelations for a day and a limited trip the next day. The timing, it seems was not good. Right smack in the middle of the rainy season, this trip was supposed to happen a few months before but has been moved twice. What’s in store for us then when we head to Club Paradise, for me, the best resort in Coron Palawan? Will the days get better when we head to my favorite island resort?
Despite the weather, looking forward
I was rather excited for this trip. My first and last visit to Club Paradise Palawan was three years ago and I fell in love with this place. It’s a remote island resort in the northeastern part of Busuanga Island originally owned by a foreigner then transferred and now managed by The Discovery Leisure Company, Inc., a recognized homegrown hospitality company who also owns the multiawarded Discovery Shores in Boracay. To get there, one has to go to a small port from the airport and take a fast boat to the island while passing through stunning mangrove and island seascapes. And once you’re there, it just feels like being welcomed by family and staying home. But better.
There was a slight drizzle the morning we headed to Decalachao Port. As we boarded the fastboat that will take us to Club Paradise Palawan, the sun shone, the surroundings were glistening while the river that emptied into the sea was murky from the rains. The engine hummed and we started slowly, meandering through the snaking river bordered with mangroves. The fastboat picked up speed as the waterway widened and nearing the mouth then sped away into the open. I missed this view of green, river and sky. I smiled as I saw again the small islet with a respectably sized sandbar. I looked in amazement at a small cascade of a stream emptying to the sea.
The island looked just the same when I first visited sans the small tent that greeted visitors. The water was as clear as I remember it, the sand white. The colony of fruit bats were still roosting there, the seaside cabanas were as is, except for some minor modifications. It was the same familiar place, same hospitable staff and homey ambiance. But I also got informed that there were some changes around the island. Ocean Restaurant was no more and has been rebranded Firefish Restaurant with a new Thai chef and new dishes in the menu. A building that used to stand at the sunset side of the island is being rebuilt into new rooms.
But what I miss about the place is the beach. Picture this: white sandy shore with crystal clear waters and most of the time, all to yourself. That’s why I can’t help but plunge and just swim around in the morning or late afternoon. Or soak just before lunch. Or head to the water again anytime and just float or observe small fishes around me, or a school of silvery flashes from the distance. I didn’t even bother swimming at the pool. I loved the beach and reveled as if I owned it. Or just lie down at the comfortable bed which was a solace. Or sit at the lounging chairs inside and outside the cabana we were in and just look out into the sea, into the distance. Or swaying gently on the hammock. Ah, life here in the best resort in Coron Palawan.
There was not much to do really. And that was what I wanted. Of course, for the second time, I would have wanted to hit the trails and hike up Eagle Point. This is one allure of the island as its still covered much with forests and greenery. Or I would have tried diving for the first time. Alas, the weather wasn’t that cooperative. But, it was a delight to see a night heron coming into the open restaurant, walking between tables as we had our sumptuous buffet breakfast. There was a yellow oriole (antulihaw in Cebuano) flying by. A stone dove flying in and perching at one of the railings. Or the group of raucous glossy starlings gathered at one tree. Fruit bats flying from time to time to find a better branch to hang. And then, one afternoon, while strolling around the path, a monitor lizard (genus Varanus) clumsily scampered quickly, our paths crossing. I was startled but at the same time amazed. I was told before that there were monitor lizards around but didn’t see these in my firs visit. And also, one drizzly morning, I saw another big one running to hide at the yoga platform near our cabana.
It was a memorable stay. Great pampering by Club Paradise Palawan staff. Great food at Firefish Restaurant. Amazing days of just swimming at the beach or walking around observing Nature. It was a vacation I badly needed at the best resort in Coron Palawan.
Club Paradise Palawan
Dimakya Island, Coron, Northern Palawan
+63 917 827 9852